Advocates Criticize Trump “Tough on Crime” Nominees to U.S. Sentencing Commission

The Federal Docket

August 21, 2020

August 18, 2020.

President Trump has nominated five individuals, including four judges, to sit on the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The USSC plays a major role in the federal criminal system, starting first and foremost with developing and updating the federal sentencing guidelines for criminal cases. In recent years, the USSC had been moving in the direction of reducing the severity of sentences for certain offenses and recommending reducing certain mandatory minimum sentences. The president’s picks have elicited criticism from advocates of criminal justice reform on both ends of the political spectrum, especially the president’s choice of three judges who have well-established reputations of being “tough on crime” and imposing long sentences.

The president’s picks include Judge K. Michael Moore from the Southern District of Florida, Judge Henry Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia, Judge Claria Boom from the Eastern District of Kentucky, Judge L. Felipe Restrepo of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and John Malcolm, a former prosecutor and member of the Heritage Foundation. The group has also been criticized for the lack of diversity in addition to what reform advocates say are hostile views towards criminal justice and sentencing reform.

Click here to read the article from Law360 or click here to read our firm’s primer on the federal sentencing guidelines.

Tom Church - Tom is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on criminal defense and civil trials. Tom is the author of "The Federal Docket" and is a contributor to Mercer Law Review's Annual Survey in the areas of federal sentencing guidelines and criminal law. Tom graduated with honors from the University of Georgia Law School where he served as a research assistant to the faculty in the areas of constitutional law and civil rights litigation. Read Tom's reviews on AVVO. Follow Tom on Linkedin.

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